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J Ultrasound Med. 2017 Dec;36(12):2495-2501. doi: 10.1002/jum.14291. Epub 2017 Jul 8.

Ultrasound Versus Traditional Palpation to Guide Radial Artery Cannulation in Critically Ill Children: A Randomized Trial.

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Division of Pediatric Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.



To identify success rates for radial artery cannulation in a pediatric critical care unit using either palpation or ultrasound guidance to cannulate the radial artery.


A prospective randomized comparative study of critically ill children who required invasive monitoring in a tertiary referral center was conducted. All patients were randomized by a stratified block of 4 to either ultrasound-guided or traditional palpation radial artery cannulation. The primary outcomes were the first attempt and total success rates.


Eighty-four children were enrolled, with 43 randomized to the palpation technique and 41 to the ultrasound-guided technique. Demographic data between the groups were not significantly different. The total success and first attempt rates for the ultrasound-guided group were significantly higher than those for the palpation group (success ratio, 2.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-3.64; P = .018; and success ratio, 4.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.57-11.14; P = .004, respectively). The median time to success for the ultrasound-guided group was significantly shorter than that for the palpation group (3.3 versus 10.4 minutes; P < .001). Cannulation complications were lower in the ultrasound-guided group than the palpation group (12.5% versus 53.3%; P < .001).


The ultrasound-guided technique could improve the success rate and allow for faster cannulation of radial artery catheterization in critically ill children.


critically ill children; pediatric ultrasound; radial artery cannulation; ultrasound-guided

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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